Design Takes Cues from Tropical Setting
By Judy Singer,
ISHC - HFD & Sandy Dickerson, ESa
National Hotel Executive, March 2003
Meads Bay in Anguilla, British West Indies, a pristine
white structure sits serenely on a bluff in stark contrast
to the brilliant blue-green hues of the water below.
Equipped to provide the world vacationer with an exquisite
experience, this luxury spa opened in November 2002 as
the newest addition to the Malliouhana resort, which
is nestled on a tiny island in the Caribbean.
design charge was the creation of a new structure with its
own identity that, at
the same time, seamlessly blends with the resort's existing
hotel and villas.
The 15,000-square-foot freestanding spa, which caters to both
men and women, was designed by Earl
Swensson Associates, Inc. (ESa), a Nashville, Tennessee-based architectural and interior
design firm. Health Fitness Dynamics, Inc. (HFD), a Pompano
Beach, Florida spa planning, marketing and management company,
was the spa consultant to provide a turnkey service from concept
through opening. HFD and ESa collaborated on the design direction
to make sure the spa flow was comfortable for guests, operationally
efficient for staff, able to generate revenues for the owners
and had a sense-of place in terms of the views, materials and
design theme of the resort.
Our design solution involved the selection of a structural
system that the island craftsmen were comfortable with," says
Thom Meek, AIA, senior designer for ESa. "The system
we chose is a column and beam construction using block
walls, basically a concrete rendered structure."
of the resort, Nigel Roydon and his father Leon Roydon,
wanted the spa to have layers of highend amenities
as the more standard and popular treatment and wet areas.
To accommodate this requirement, HFD conceptualized the "spa
within a spa" suite. ESa worked with HFD to design
three private day suites on the second level, thereby
creating privacy and exclusivity while avoiding cross
of the a la
carte treatment rooms, locker rooms, salon, boutique
and fitness center on the first floor. The suites are
privacy and convenience for guests who want a half or
full day of treatments and refreshments.
suite, designed for use by individuals and couples, has a
private balcony well positioned
to take in the
views of the sunset and ocean, a jet-action whirlpool
treatment tub, a massage and facial area, a body treatment
indoor and outdoor lounges, a specialty shower and
vanity area. One of the suites has an outdoor couple's
whirlpool, an indoor couples jet-action whirlpool treatment
tub plus an
indoor couples massage area.
The intention of
the building's design was to maintain the outdoors-open tropical
of the resort's
leading to the out-of-doors are designed to be left
open to take advantage of the incredible views of
and clear blue-green water. A neutral palette with
small accents of blues and greens, the terra cotta
floor tile, creamy
white walls, and rich walnut wood trims contribute
toward the spa establishing a relationship with its
The Spa has separate
locker areas for men and women. The fitness center, utilized
by both genders, is
accessible to the right
of the main lobby. Also leading off the lobby,
a boutique displays a selection of spa products and
spa logo wear.
The clean shelving
system echoes the warm honey of the bamboo floor.
Bamboo flooring is also used in the adjacent salon,
rooms and spa suites. Cane insets on the locker
texture, and the digital locks add security and
ease. The uni-sex salon
has two styling stations as well as two manicure
and pedicure stations with an open window looking
of the beach. The oceanfront, indoor, air-conditioned
and refreshment bar is surrounded by windows that
take full advantage of the ocean vista.
locker rooms, the hallway begins a progression toward an
ocean-view lounge with the dressing,
vanity and shower areas
as well as steam room, sauna room and deluge
shower along the way before widening to an expansive view
of the beach.
seagrass and rattan furniture pieces are used
the spa's interior. An inviting outdoor whirlpool
has been placed
at one end of the terrace. The ocean and view
add the real color, as intended, to emphasize the natural
the setting. Between the men's and women's locker
room and directly
off the outdoor oceanfront lounge are five private
treatment rooms for massage, skin care and body
treatment room has its own music system and air
A Malliouhana repeat
guest from Massachusetts says that he and his wife enjoy "sitting
back in the whirlpool watching the tide roll
in on Meads Bay before we head off to our massages.
It is the epitome of luxury—as only Malliouhana
can do. There is no place in the world like
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954-942-0049 - Fax: 954-941-0854